Sunday 19 May 2019

Penfolds begins ‘inviting, compelling’ journey with Champagne House Thiénot

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Penfolds has unveiled a new collaboration with family-owned Champagne House Thiénot in Paris overnight. Three Champagnes, from the 2012 vintage, have been created: a Chardonnay Pinot Noir Cuvée, and two single vineyard wines – a Blanc de Blancs and a Blanc de Noirs. This symbolically celebrates Penfolds 175th anniversary and marks the start of a wonderful French and Australian wine alliance.

The Champagnes:

• 2012 Champagne Thienot x Penfolds Chardonnay Pinot Noir Cuvee
• 2012 Champagne Thienot x Penfolds Blanc de Blancs (Avize Grand Cru)
• 2012 Champagne Thienot x Penfolds Blanc de Noirs (AÿGrand Cru)

Thiénot managing director Stanislas Thienot said, “This is a first for us, I am proud to say this has also been a truly collaborative experience from the very beginning. We have created blends reflective of both Thienot and Penfolds wine styles and philosophies. We are very happy with the results, the Champagnes are modern reflections showcasing fruit, freshness and finesse.

“This is the result of an unexpected encounter between two major wine regions, one belonging to the old world and the other to the new world, but with one single common goal: to produce great Champagnes. In addition, working with Peter Gago is extremely interesting and rewarding both for his immense experience and for his innovative vision.”

Penfolds chief winemaker Peter Gago has long shared a love of Champagne and the art of blending.

“This is Step One of an inviting and compelling journey,” he said. “Some time back, we announced our intent to make a Champagne. We are now revealing a partnership with our friends at Thiénot – one which would not have been imaginable a decade or two ago. To now actually work alongside a Champagne House and ultimately craft Champagnes proudly, which co-bears the globally recognised red stamp of Penfolds, is both wonderful and a first collaboration of its kind for an Australian winery.”

The wines represent the joint efforts of Thiénot chef de cave Nicolas Uriel who together with Peter shared agreed style and quality ambitions. The three Champagnes are made from grapes sourced from prestigious and highly regarded vineyards in Champagne from the spectacular 2012 vintage.

From the outset, Peter focused on ensuring Penfolds House Style and blending philosophies aligned with those of Champagne Thiénot and their winemaking approach. Liqueur d’expédition housed in Yattarna barriques from Australia added greater symbolism and connection.

“While the singularly expressive and acutely defined siblings, 2012 Blanc de Blancs and 2012 Blanc de Noirs, play their role in this trio’s inaugural release, this first release – the 2012 Chardonnay Pinot Noir Cuvee (available June 2019) – synergistically creates its own stage, commanding its own space. What is so obvious from the first sip and sniff–time will be kind to this wine. A revelational journey awaits.”

The Blanc de Noirs (Grand Cru) is sourced solely from a significant Aÿvineyard, and the Blanc de Blancs (Grand Cru) from a regal single vineyard with vines up to sixty years old. Singular, special.

The first of the Champagne releases, 2012 Champagne Thiénot x Penfolds Chardonnay Pinot Noir Cuvée will be available from June. The RRP is $280 for 750ml bottle.

Limited large formats (1.5L and 3L) are available in select countries around the world. Visit penfolds.com for stockist information. The 2012 Champagne Thiénot x Penfolds Blanc de Blancs (Avize Grand Cru) and 2012 Champagne Thiénot x Penfolds Blanc de Noirs (Ay Grand Cru) will be released in 2020.

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